When in Manila, almost all media outlets are busy covering stories about the elections. Amidst all the breaking news and the interviews, the so-called “nuisance” candidates have gotten their fair share of media attention. Netizens have reacted and voiced out their opinions about these candidates–including the “intergalactic Earth ambassador” and the man who is trying to legalize the four seasons in the Philippines.
But if you’ve watched, shared, or laughed at any of these photos and videos, you might find this Facebook status update interesting. Mehol K. Sadain, a lecturer at the UP College of Law, wrote this on his Facebook page.
Is it alright for our media commentators and anchors to make fun of candidates who file their certificates of candidacy even if they cannot win, or worse even if they seem to be out of their wits? It is ministerial for the COMELEC to accept such certificates. That is why they are able to file. But it doesn’t mean that the law allows them to become candidates because the COMELEC later determines their fitness to become candidates for the positions they aspire.
Back to my question — While their certificates of candidacy are pending consideration by the COMELEC or right after they file, is it alright for our media to make fun of them? I am asking this question because I have been hearing our radio and TV anchors interviewing these candidates, and asking them stupid questions, feeding on their fantasies and making them the laughing stock of the country. Is this alright? I am asking because I do not see any redeeming value in these interviews, other than to make entertainment of these people who in their minds may be motivated by their dreams or fantasies and aspirations, no matter how impossible they are.
I ask this question because I think media, represented by supposedly mature, responsible and award-winning anchors like Noli de Castro, Karen Davila, Vic Lima and the rest who are in the habit of making fun of these candidates should be more sensitive and principled than this.
I have always thought that the role of media is to inform and to adhere to responsible reporting, and not to make fun of people or engage in interviews that do not amount to anything except demeaning entertainment.